Photo: Vlada Parkovich
To say COVID-19 has changed the recruiting and remote hiring would be an understatement. For a start, it’s likely you’re relying more heavily on the expertise of the rest of your HR team, your recruiter, or business leaders while navigating the interview and remote onboarding process. To help you improve the remote hiring process, we’ve put together our top four tips for interviewing virtually, including how to answer some tough questions from candidates.
1. Decide on the Remote Hiring Process
Before you do anything else, decide on the steps involved in the remote hiring process. Make sure everyone understands the types of interviews and stages the candidates will have to go through. This also allows an opportunity to offer candidates an outline of what to expect. This will be an unfamiliar situation for most, so planning and preparation are key. For example: The free version of Zoom limits meetings to 40 minutes. So, ensure everyone understands the rigid time frame.
If you’re using an agency to help you? Be sure to allow for scheduled follow-up calls with the agency. This will help to keep the process you’ve decided on to move more efficiently.
2. Produce an Information Pack for Candidates
A great employer branding tool, an information pack can be prepared by and sent to the candidates before the interview/s. The pack can include:
- Background information about the company
- What they should expect from each stage of the interview process
- What you’re looking for in an ideal candidate
- The technology and login details required (for example: Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, etc.)
- Point of contact details throughout the interview process
Sending this information to the candidate will help them have a great candidate experience. It will also allay some of their anxiety while enabling them to prepare to the best of their ability.
3. Encourage Managers to Use a Scorecard
A job interview in person is hard enough. Throw in video technology, and the degree of difficulty increases. When it comes to video interviews, keep your job as simple as possible. That way, you can focus more on making a fair assessment of each candidate. One way to do this: Produce a scorecard unique to the position the candidates are interviewing for. By isolating the top skills or qualities and giving them each a score out of 5, 10 or 20 (depending on the weighting of each), it allows you to quantify where a candidate sits. The scorecard can also help eliminate unconscious biases. After all, managers will only score in relation to the candidates’ demonstrated skills.
4. Prepare for Tough Questions from Candidates
During the remote hiring process, chances are there will be questions you and the hiring manager may not know how to answer. So prepare ahead of time for some of the most common candidate questions. Below are a few of these questions with tips on how to prepare for them.
What’s the workplace culture like?
As the majority of candidates going through the remote interview process won’t have been to your offices, you should explain what it’s like for a newcomer. Things to mention include virtual social activities, daily/weekly catch-ups and the technology you use to keep your staff connected.
Once hired, what should I expect from the onboarding process?
The minute details are not helpful here. Instead, provide a high-level overview of the virtual onboarding process. Mention any hardware that would be sent to the new starter’s home and give an outline of the first week of induction/training sessions. It may also be worth mentioning if your workplace organizes a work buddy for new starters and who would be responsible for leading the onboarding process, whether it’s someone from the HR team or the new starter’s line manager.
How well is the company working remotely?
This question is a good opportunity to mention any wins or challenges the company has faced. Assure the interviewee a remote onboarding process exists. You can also mention how regularly the company meets online and the other ways everyone keeps in touch – whether by Slack, Zoom, emails or phone calls.
What has your company learned from the transition to working from home?
Similar to the above, think about any learning curves the company has faced while working from home, whether they have had to do with systems, communication or staff surveys. A candidate may also want to know if the company now recognizes the value in working from home if this wasn’t already in place.
What types of measures are you looking at to return to the office safely?
While you’re probably still figuring out the details of the policy that will allow a safe return to the office, you should be able to mention the aspects you’re considering. These could include staggered start times, transport options, an increase in remote working or providing PPE.
Tell me about your flexible working policies?
The answer to this question is likely something all candidates will want to know. If you aren’t already aware, talk to management to find out the company’s thoughts. In some cases, work practices aren’t affected or will not be reduced. In that case, then simply explain why the company has taken this stance.
The remote hiring process is new for many of us. Which makes this is a great time to learn new hiring methods. Put these tips to work, and hire the best candidates!